Just a few things to keep you reading, thinking, "mucking around", and while you're doing that you will have fun. For creative ideas, collaborative opportunities, communicating what's good, and critically assessing teaching and learning in the 21st century, start here and go to hundreds of other links.
Commoncraft produces short animated videos that explain things in simple and easy-to-understand language.Each video is 2 to 4 minutes in length and explains a topic, procedure, or how to use something in plain English. Click on a topic of interest and watch, learn, and enjoy. For more videos not listed here (about 70 videos up to now), click the pictures below to take you to the Common Craft video list.
Ken Robinson believes that everyone is born with extraordinary capability and
deep talent. So what happens to all that talent as we bump through life,
getting by, but never realizing our true potential? For most of us the
problem isn't that we aim too high and fail - it's just the opposite - we aim
too low and succeed. We need to find that magic spot where our natural
talent meets our personal passion. This means we need to know ourselves better.
Whilst we content ourselves with doing what we're competent at, but don't truly
love, we'll never excel. And, according to Ken, finding purpose in our work is
essentially to knowing who we really are. When you find your element, you
will be physically exhausted, but spiritually uplifted and energized ... we
need to stop denying ourselves the opportunity to allow our passion to be
released. We should not say "No" to the diverse opportunities
... differences that open up for us create and re-create the course of our
life. Our education system and our workplaces must transform to something
better ... but it won't transform if we don't transform within ourselves first.
This is a movement from ME to WE ...
from loneliness to building community. When we do things that make us
laugh and spend time together, we are a community - we welcome, celebrate,
and rejoice being together. We can grow, change,
and always keep in mind what do we want to grow as? It is about growth?
Some words of wisdom from Jean Vanier.
It is just so nice that we should strive to celebrate life every day. It
is in celebrating that we are doing things together that we make the
bible and the teachings of Jesus come alive and visible every day. Let's
celebrate being us!
Balance is needed ... work should not
identify you. We need to be more aware of what it means to be fully human. Who
would you be without your briefcase? Without your credentials? Are you
known for your title or for yourself? Do you belong in a real way or in an
you to cope and face the challenges ... it's okay to be weak; it's okay to make
mistakes; it's doing that counts and something that is uniquely you can give
you a sense of belonging. Sticks and stones can break your bones, and names
will really hurt you!
Being a refugee is
a profound insecurity of belonging .. People want to belong, because they need
to belong ... The good life doesn't bring people to Canada ... It is Peace that
brings people to Canada.
The sense of
belonging can never be separated from the sense of justice. Unity is more
precious than proving that I'm better than you. It is in forgiving that we find
inclusion and it is the heart of acceptance ... it is the key!
Forgiveness says none of us can meet the standard, welcome. The heart of
humanity of the story of it is to grow towards compassion.
Albom, a former student of Schwartz,
had not corresponded with him since attending his college classes 16 years
earlier. The first three chapters incorporate an ambiguous introduction to the
final conversation between Albom and Schwartz, a brief flashback to Albom's
graduation, and an account of the events Albom experienced between graduation
and the reunion with his professor. The name Morrie comes from its meaning in
Hebrew, which stands for "my teacher."
Albom is a successful sports columnist
for the Detroit Free Press despite his childhood dream of
being a pianist. After seeing Schwartz on Nightline,
Albom called Schwartz, who remembered his former pupil despite the lapse of 16
years. Albom was prompted to travel from Michigan to Massachusetts to visit
Schwartz. A newspaper strike frees Albom to commute weekly, Tuesdays, to visit
with Schwartz. The resulting book is based on these fourteen Tuesdays they
meet, supplemented with Schwartz's lectures and life experiences and
interspersed with flashbacks and allusions to contemporary events.
Do you know who you're
talking to when using social networks? Check out the video ... yeah, it's
a bit spooky, but it's the new reality. When using the internet you
should know the person you're dealing with - Be smart to stay safe!
Parents need to know where their children are surfing and what social networks
or other sites the children are accessing.
and Online Buying Make online shopping a safe
experience! This is a funny video about Dos and Don'ts when shopping online ...
funny, but thought-provoking too.
The way kids learn today is
not confined to a classroom ... and this does not apply only to kids, but
adults too. Everywhere we go, we are learning and growing.
Ten Student Expectations As educators and
parents, we are always telling our students and children what we expect them to
learn. It is incumbent upon us as the adults to think about one more
thing ... what do our children and our students expect from school?
Architect Trung Le
from OWPP//Cannon Design in Chicago talks about North Shore Country Day School,
a 21st century high school outside of Chicago. The video is entitled
"The Third Teacher". You can see our own community space at
Epiphany - our Student Computer Lounge.
Learning Environment Very interesting use of furniture to
create a setup and then re-create another in a matter of moments. The
environment is key ... if you build it, they will come!
I'll keep it simple
... In the show, Glee, this song is performed by a deaf choir and it is
absolutely amazing. If you don't cry watching and mouthing the words,
there's something wrong with you. John Lennon's words are even more
powerful with this video.
The Future of Learning Taken from The
Huffington Post Canada (Education)- January 13th, 2013 In a
thought-provoking short 20-minute film, "The Future of
Learning," Swedish telecommunications giant Ericsson takes a look at
engagement learning in a technological era. The video was made as part of
Ericsson's Networked Society series.
something is probably an obsolete idea. You don't actually need to know
anything -- you can find out at the point when you need to know it,"
Sugata Mitra says in the video's opening. "It's the teacher's job to point
young minds towards the right kind of questions. The teacher doesn't need to
give any answers, the answers are everywhere. And we know now from years of
measurements that learners who find the answers for themselves retain it better
than if they're told the answer."
The piece takes a
look at what the future of education could be in our networked society and
presents fundamental divergence from previous methods of rote memorization --
in favor of tailored education where memorization may no longer be necessary
for sake of pervasive information. From school e-readers and flipped classroom
models to computerized testing and online courses, educators are still
grappling with ways to shift an educational paradigm of the 20th century into
one of the 21st. Check out the full film above and weigh in below -- What do
you think the future of education holds?
well-intentioned aid workers hear of a problem they think they can fix, they go
to work. This, Ernesto Sirolli suggests, is naïve. In this funny and impassioned
talk, he proposes that the first step is to listen to the people you're trying
to help, and tap into their own entrepreneurial spirit. His advice on what
works will help any entrepreneur. To lead is to be a good listener and serve
... to be paternal and not patronize.
This film is a short
documentary portrait of economist, technologist and lecturer Fritz Schumacher.
Up to age 45, Schumacher was dedicated to economic growth. Then he came to
believe that the modern technological explosion had grown out of all proportion
to human need. Author of Small Is Beautiful - A Study of Economics as
if People Mattered and founder of the London-based Intermediate
Technology Development Group, he championed the cause of
"appropriate" technology. The film introduces us to this gentle
revolutionary a few months before his death.
In a world of too
many options and too little time, our obvious choice is to just ignore the
ordinary stuff. Marketing guru Seth Godin spells out why, when it comes to
getting our attention, bad or bizarre ideas are more successful than boring
ones. You want something to succeed? - Be remarkable.
This short animated
video is from Norway. It features the issues
around using ICT in education and the future of
Norway's education and eventually its economy. Nonetheless, the issues,
concerns, and probable solutions addressed in the video are readily applicable
to any school in North America and likewise, any school around the world -
After all, we are a global community and we share the good, the bad, and the
ugly that's part of being so interconnected. The future is now and the
sooner we realize it, the sooner we'll be able to move forward, since we're
already 15% into the 21st century!
CBC Radio's Michael
Enright speaks to Dr. Pasi Sahlberg (Finland's education reform guru) about the
state of education here and what's happening in Finland ... how the low-stress
model has helped Finnish students reach for the top - Very much worth listening
to! Click the title above and once there, click on the Listen icon. (February
Here are a series
of videos from Sir Ken Robinson ... for you to watch, ponder, critically think
about, reflect on our own learning and teaching, and most importantly utilize
to further foster student engagement, well-being, and achievement. Click on
each title below:
As our technology gets better
and better, the essence remains the same - to be better, more knowledgeable
about our world and ourselves, and expand our ability to create and
reshape. As the adults, we need to provide a "context" and a
"frame" to this incredibly expanding "content" for our
children. It's not only "Where do you want to go?", but
it's also, "Let me show you how to get there!" Therefore, as parents and
teachers, we need to know the way, show the way, and soon enough, we'll
need to get out of the way!
A Day Made of Glass THIS IS REALLY, REALLY NEAT, A MUST SEE. THE FUTURE IS ALMOST HERE, THIS IS
CORNING GLASS, AND THE IDEAS ARE MIND BOGGLING, yet scary, especially for those
who find it hard trying to catch up with technology. Some of this stuff is
It is really
amazing how things have changed ... what do we want in 2013 and
beyond? If we focus on well-being, the social, emotional, and spiritual,
the kids need to be happy and only then will we be able to focus on the
Folks, take some time
to watch the TVO show at the link above. You'll get a better sense
where the TCDSB is moving towards and this is what we want our school to move
steadily towards ... not fast enough for the students, but at a pace that we
can handle and in a manner that is meaningful to us as educators and
parents. You'll see an emphasis on FUN, ENGAGEMENT, AUTHENTIC –
these are some of the key elements of what learning is about ... CONNECTIONS
.... MAKING MEANINGS via CONTEXT, not CONTENT. It’s all about
“context” and how we as educators “create the frame” to present the
“content”. Are you ready for this?? If not, you’ll be struggling
because our students/children are very ready for this! Watch the
video and see what is happening now.
Flipping the Classroom Ever wonder what would happen if you
asked kids to check out the work by themselves the day before you were going to
do it and even assign them the work to do all by themselves ... Then, the next
day go over the work and focus on the issues that were experienced. Well, it's
not that straight-forward, but it's flipped from how schools do things. Check
out this video clip on the "flipped classroom".
Vision of K-12 Students How can we prepare students today
for a future we really don't know much about? We need a vision
and a clearer understanding of what it is our students are engaging
in. Do we let the rest of the world into our education
bubble? Check out this video and I'm sure you'll have more questions than
answers. Likewise, I think you'll see that we need a vision ... things
aren't as they always have been anymore. Click on the title above to
take you to the video.